Utah’s GOP Gov. Brushes Off Massive Military Takeover Conspiracy Theory

May 1, 2015 9:39 a.m.

The office of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) told TPM on Thursday that he’s not buying into the conspiracy theory that the military is plotting a massive multi-state takeover in the western U.S.

The governor’s spokesman, Marty Carpenter, sent an email to TPM about the upcoming seven-state military training exercise known as “Jade Helm 15,” saying the state has “been assured this will be a standard training exercise.”

Conspiracy theorists have sounded the alarm about the exercise, which is slated to take place from July 15 to Sept. 15 in Utah and six other western states. The conspiracy theory this week led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to order the State Guard to monitor “Jade Helm 15” to confirm that the operation is not in fact a military takeover.

Below is the full statement from the Utah governor’s office:

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The governor is aware of the plan, and we are working with both local and federal officials to ensure it is carried out appropriately. The military will be participating in a training exercise this summer in the western part of the United States, including Utah, to prepare for evolving threats throughout the world. We have been assured this will be a standard training exercise, much like those done throughout the rest of the country, and that the majority of the training will occur in remote areas with minimal inconvenience to the local communities.

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